1. What is the rationale behind Siemens being present at Arab Health in Dubai? What do you hope to achieve from the event, both for Siemens as a company and as far as decision-making is concerned?
Arab Health is the biggest and most important healthcare exhibition in the Middle East region. It gives us the opportunity to meet with many customers and decision-makers and to present our latest innovative products and solutions that support and drive our mission to innovate in order to advance human health. At Arab Health, we will continue the dialogue with our customers on how best to support them to fight the most threatening diseases by raising quality and productivity in healthcare and improving access to it.
2. What is your long-term outlook for the healthcare sector in the Middle East and what are the sector drivers?
The Healthcare Sector in the Middle East is growing fast. The per capita expenditure, even in the most developed Middle Eastern countries, is still less than half of the spending in the US, for example. The drivers are increasingly similar to other countries, but while the population in the Middle East is still young, it will become older and therefore the need for healthcare will increase. Despite strong economies in the region, I also believe we will observe an increasing focus on costs.
3. What trends do you see emerging as governments push ahead with plans to invest heavily in healthcare?
Generally, we see governments addressing all segments of the healthcare spectrum. On the one hand, we see a focus on general hospitals as well as coverage of remote areas, and on the other we see a focus on addressing specific diseases in specialized centers. There is another important trend towards creating an investment-friendly environment for private healthcare institutions.
4. What challenges does the region face in developing its healthcare infrastructure? How quick is the region to adopt new technologies when compared to other parts of the world?
Surely, a key challenge the region is facing is the availability of highly-trained healthcare professionals. We see in countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar a drive towards quickly obtaining the best in class standards in medical care, which in turn leads to using the best-in-class equipment and technologies in those countries. Our latest innovations, such as the Artis Q.zen, Mammomat Inspiration Prime, Cios Alpha or the Magnetom Prisma, will fit in perfectly here.
5. Where do you see the biggest growth potential within the Middle East region?
I believe that especially geographically, large countries with large populations, such as Saudi Arabia, will continue to grow very fast, as coverage and availability of healthcare there still needs to be expanded. Demand for healthcare in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states such as the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, which have seen large investments into their healthcare sectors is also still rising, due to rapidly-growing and aging populations, increasing lifestyle-related diseases, such as diabetes and obesity, in tandem with growing per capita income and higher insurance penetration.
6. Do you see demand for Siemens’ healthcare products increasing? For which products do you see the strongest demand and why?
As demand for healthcare grows, so does the demand for our healthcare products. We are in the unique position to have a complete portfolio, covering both Laboratory Diagnostics as well as Imaging.
7. What are the latest breakthrough technologies launched by Siemens Healthcare and how will they benefit patients?
At Arab Health 2013, Siemens is showcasing a number of new products, including its pioneering Acuson Freestyle wireless ultrasound imaging system. This is particularly suited for use in surgery and trauma as the wireless probes are easier to sterilize. In addition, the unit is easier to operate in an intraoperative surgery environment while procedures are performed.
We are also introducing the Artis Q and Artis Q.zen, which incorporate the latest X-ray and detector technology, improving minimally-invasive therapy of illnesses such as coronary artery disease, stroke and cancer by identifying small vessels up to 70 percent better than conventional technologies in that category. Moving objects can also be imaged with greater clarity with this new technology. The Artis Q.zen also allows “ultra low dose” imaging for the first time, with patients receiving a radiation dose that is 50 percent lower than normally applied.
Other highlights at the show include innovations that aim to make healthcare more accessible, affordable and efficient, such as the new Somatom Perspective computed tomography (CT) scanner. In addition, we have the Magnetom Spectra, a 3-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system; the Acuson X700 ultrasound system; the Aptio™ Automation laboratory automation platform which handles increasing workloads, adapts to nearly any lab or testing environment and providing comprehensive analytics; and the syngo.via Element, a solution for 3D routine and advanced image reading for CT studies on display.
What this means for patients is that they can expect to receive medical treatment that is more comfortable and more efficient, with reduced waiting times for receiving treatment. At the same time, diseases can be detected earlier with these advancements in medical technology.